Tony Valdez is a Dispatcher, a licensed professional who kills people for a living. In this unusual future, almost anyone murdered comes back to life, appearing in back bed several hours later. Mostly Tony murders hospital patients right before they are about to die in surgery, allowing the doctor to save them again. But Tony’s routine is disrupted when a fellow Dispatcher and acquaintance is kidnapped, and he learns exactly how far some people are willing to go to for revenge in a world in which resurrection is possible.

This moody urban fantasy is part thriller, part crime, with a dash of noir! My favorite Scalzi works are character-driven science fiction, and in many ways this little piece of fantasy feels like a fun writing experiment. In fact, Scalzi partnered with Audible to create a story specifically made for audio, resulting in characters that each have their own distinctive voice on an entirely new level. Also, the never-ending dialogue tags of he said, she said are nonexistent, eliminating a previous pet peeve of mine that tend to dominate Scalzi audiobooks!

Performed by Zachary Quinto, (whom I enjoy in this better than in the Star Trek reboot), The Dispatcher is a fun, no strings attached paranormal story that is easily worth your time. Because of the short length, be prepared for fantasy elements that are not completely clarified.

Recommended for fans of urban fantasy and Scalzi!

I had purposefully and intentionally killed a man. That’s who I am. That’s my job. I’m a dispatcher.